Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his colleagues held the first e-cabinet meeting on Monday. There was no paper in the room related to the agenda, only tablets and e-devices. The minutes of the meeting were electronically noted, remarks and suggestions were keyed in, power-point presentations were made and after the meeting the ministers walked out without without any papers. Of course, some ministers did carry small notebooks in their pockets, just in case.
The ministers accessed the agenda of the meeting on their devices through an app called e-cabinet. The data is password-protected and cannot be shared or viewed by anyone else. The electronic files that need sharing are hosted on a file-sharing system using FileCloud tool.
After conclusion of the Assembly session on September 7, a camp had been organised for ministers to acquaint them with the e-cabinet app, including how to login using a password, and the file-sharing procedure. But besides the CM, only a few ministers are tech-savvy, and others like Food and Civil Supplies Minister Paritala Sunita needed a little help to navigate through the electronic documents.
Monday’s meeting was significant as the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government completed 100 days on September 8 and this is the first time that a paperless cabinet meeting has been held in the country.
“The cabinet today decided to implement the loan waiver scheme from first week of October, after a few hurdles are taken care of. From October 2, Andhra Pradesh will have power supply 24×7. NTR canteens will be started at a few places, which will provide quality food at subsidised rates from October 2. It has been decided to allot 600 acres to Hero Motocorp in Sri City SEZ in Nellore district,” Minister P Naryana said.
The first important e-document sent across by the CM on Monday was about creating the “Sunrise state of AP” in which he also spelt out his vision to “eliminate poverty, reduce economic and social disparities, leading to a healthy, happy and prosperous society”.
“We have completed 100 days in government. During these crucial days, we have strived hard to formulate policies for our state. We realise that every step of ours is going to lay a strong foundation in scripting the future. In this journey, I appeal to each one of you to walk with me in transforming Andhra Pradesh into ‘Swarnandhra Pradesh’,” Naidu wrote.
The other issues that were discussed included land acquisition for new capital city; visit of committee headed by Urban Development and Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana to three capital cities to study growth models; farm loan waiver; introduction of 20 litres drinking water cans in rural areas for Rs 2; zero power-cuts and power for all; and old age pensions.